Weird overheating problem

dohokodohoko Member Posts: 1
edited February 2015 in Subaru
Maybe someone has had the same problem that I have with my Subaru Legacy Brighton 1994 AWD or with any other car or is "just" a technically capable person.
I try to describe the problem as exactly as possible. English is not my first language, so I hope the description is well understandable. Otherwise please ask.
I had overheating trouble 3 times before, everytime solved, with 3 different solutions like a new radiator, new gearbox oil and replacing a cracked bypass hose.
This time it's different: The engine runs fine most of the time and the overheating is only temporary. When it happens and I open the bonnet, I hear a gurgling sound from somewhere on the left of the engine and the water overflow tank is filled to the top and overboiling. It takes maybe 10 minutes until the noise is gone and the water is sucked back in. I don't really lose any water and I have neither water in my oil nor oil in the water.
Those symptoms occured for the first time about 3 weeks ago, then it was fine for 3 weeks and approximately 500 km until it happened once again and then 3 days later 7 times. It overheats a little bit when the engine is running and I'm not driving, it doesn't have a problem on a hill. It seems to me, the engine is working better, the more it is challenged. Once I didn't stop immediately to see how much higher the temperature would get, but a few times, it went down again while I continued driving until it stayed high and I was forced to stop again.
People who stopped on the way when they saw me with the open bonnet thought of a damaged thermostat. I went to a garage yesterday and without even looking at it, the mechanic said, it would probably be a blown head gasket and to fix that is more expensive than a new engine and that is more expensive than the value of the car... He then found out that although the water hose on the top left of the radiator was boiling hot, the hose on the bottom right was still cold, so apparently the water wasn't pumped through. He then replaced the thermostat. I drove around town and up and down a hill twice and it seemed fine and I was so relieved!
... until I drove home. After maybe 15 km on a 100 km/h road it showed exactly the same symptoms again. :-(
Does anybody have an idea what the problem could be? Head gasket or not?
Thanks for any ideas!

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